OF ST. AUGUSTINE
The church of St. Augustine was built over an earlier parish church dedicated to St. Pancras. In 1266 the Augustinian Bishop of Narni, Orlando, established the first Augustinian community of friars in Amelia. The church was consecrated in 1288 and it is considered a Gothic-style building: the exterior preserves its original appearance and, above all, remarkable is the fine polygonal apse that can be seen from via Posterola; its high and thin mullioned windows had been later stopped out with bricks.
The pointed arch doorway has a rich articulation of jambs, small columns and friezes decorated with allegorical low-relief scenes representing vine shoots and imaginary and monstrous animals. The lunette above bears a frescoed image of a Madonna with Child between St. Augustine, St. Nicholas from Tolentino and angels setting to music attributed to the Sienese School of the 14th century. The upper section of the facade, instead, is not the one belonging to the 13th century building: infact, it collapsed in 1449 and it was rebuilt in 1477 thanks to the generosity of Angelo I Petrignani that supported its restoration and for this reason, the Petrignani family coat-of-arms sits beneath a fine wheel-shaped rose window.
The single-naved church was completely altered in Baroque style between 1742 and 1762, although it retains its original terracotta paving. Over the centuries the church of St. Augustine became a privileged burial place for some of the most important aristocratic families of Amelia, amongst which the Cansacchi family, whose funeral memories are still preserved in the church.
Among the works of art that the church conserves we can find the following paintings: St. John the Evangelist on Patmos with Saints Augustine and Charles Borromeo by Antonio Circignani, known as Il Pomarancio (Città della Pieve, about 1568 – Rome 1629), that is dated around 1613 and it’s the only certain statement of the documented activity of the Mannerism painter in Amelia; The Trinity venerated by Saints Monica, Rita and Clare of Montefalco attributed to Giacinto Gimignani (Pistoia 1606 – Rome 1681); the frescoes by Francesco Appiani (Ancona 1704 – Perugia 1792) inside the apse (Nativity of Jesus, Martyrdom of St. Pancras and Holy Family with St. Anne and the Infant John) and in the dome (Glory of St. Augustine), dated 1746 – 1750.
Worth noting: above the entrance is an organ, made in 1841 by Angelo Morettini of Perugia; the Gothic architecture of the Sacristy is very fine, with its ribbed cross-vault ceiling and on the walls we can admire uncommon sinopites, preparatory drawings for frescoes, made with blood-red pencil; the doorway that leads to the convent and the courtyard began in 1492 by the Lombard architect Martino Tartaglia. Recently some frescoes’ fragments influenced by the Raphael School (Virgin with Child and a figure of St. Rocco), dating back around the first half of the 16th century, emerged inside a former convent room, that was used as a location in the past for the Civic Museum and afterwards as a public school.